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Thoughts on Transit

A Holistic Approach to Transit Software Implementations

by Ecolane / May 16, 2016

Imagine this: you’ve made the decision to partner with a transit software provider to relieve your agency of cumbersome processes and operational inefficiencies. You’ve evaluated several capable software solutions and have chosen the provider that’s going to help redefine how your agency operates, you’ve eagerly signed on the dotted line, and have worked with your provider to get your new solution implemented as soon as possible. Sounds like the perfect scenario, right? Well, what if the provider you chose failed to explain that once your transit software was implemented you were left to fend for yourself?

We’ve seen this scenario all too often; transit agencies make an investment in a transit software provider with the expectation that they will receive the necessary trainings and support to help manage and maintain their newly adopted system, but are quickly disappointed by the reality of their situation.

Change Management vs. Operational Consulting

Unlike the majority of today’s transit software providers that utilize an operational consulting model, Ecolane leverages a change management support model. For those of you unfamiliar with the difference between the two, let us explain. Operational consulting is the process in which a consultant will assess the internal procedures and strategies within an organization, then proceeds to consult on how to enhance the overall operations of that company. On the contrary, change management is the process of identifying change within a business environment, defining how to adapt to such change, and actually implementing the strategies or technologies that will deal with that change.

For most industries and technologies, operational consulting is more than enough to support an organization. However, in the transportation industry, and with transportation software specifically, agencies require a much more hands-on support model that caters to its complexities and nuances.

Custom Implementations

No two transit agencies are the same; each has its own unique business needs and requires its own tools and resources to support it, and the implementation process is no different. In order to provide the right solutions for a transit system management application, transit software providers must thoroughly assess an agency’s existing processes and operations to determine the optimum configurations for its needs. In addition, providing the necessary training materials and resources to aide in both the initial and ongoing phases of an implementation is essential to ensuring that full-optimization and benefits are realized through the adoption of this new transit software system.

Transfer of Operational Knowledge

The basis of a success implementation is not solely based on a transit agency’s ability to integrate a new system into its infrastructure, but also to understand and utilize the software to its fullest potential. By taking a more holistic approach to software implementations, transit agencies can become less dependent on a single person, and are able to create an environment of shared knowledge; ultimately allowing all internal resources to leverage and maximize the benefits of their new transit system.

Making the decision to implement new software, especially software as robust and intricate as a transit scheduling and dispatch platform, requires a significant amount of evaluation and consideration, but it shouldn’t stop there. The implementation process as well as the ongoing management and maintenance plays just as critical of a role in the successful outcome of a transportation software implementation as the initial evaluation and selection.  With that written, it is important for transit agencies that are evaluating various transportation software providers to look beyond just the capabilities of the platform, and ensure that the support and consultation offered by the chosen provider is sufficient to support its business and operational needs.

how to select a transit software provider  


Tags: Transit Operations Customer Support

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